Monthly Archive for July, 2008

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Weekend wrap-up of OTA Archive coverage

A few more websites have mentioned the OTA Archive-

Total WonKerr

Atomic Archive


More posts about OTA and the OTA Archive

A few more blogs have discussed the OTA since our launch Wednesday…

From The Great Beyond, a blog hosted by Nature:

“Washington is full of science-policy wonks who bemoan the loss of the Office of Technology Assessment, which between 1972 and 1995 was the go-to place for smart independent advice for policymakers on science and technology topics. Fortunately, OTA junkies now have an online fix for all their needs.”

From Rhetoric and Rockets:

“Before OTA is reborn I would want to know the following:

  • How, exactly, would a revived OTA would function?
  • How big would it be?
  • Who would participate?
  • More importantly (from my semi-mistrustful point of view) who DECIDES who gets to participate?
  • What would the new OTA charter look like?
  • What steps would be taken to prevent the real or perceived irrelevance of the agency?
  • What provisions will be made to ensure that OTA remains a “lean and mean,” think tank type of organization?
  • In short, what will OTA supporters do to assure budget hawks that the agency deserves to be reborn when there is already a call to decrease the deficit, balance the budget, and eliminate a great deal of waste elsewhere in the federal government?”

Exploring Interdisciplinarity:

“The Agency, which we as staffers labeled “Congress’ Own Think Tank,” had become official in 1972, and was tasked with taking a long-term look at the implications of technology on all aspects of society. By most accounts, we did a phenomenal job.”

OTA Archive coverage around the web

Here’s a sampling of some of the coverage the OTA Archive launch received around the internet.

Science Progress / Science Cheerleader

OMB Watch

Sunlight Foundation

George Dimitriou

Bioephemera blog

Bored Science blog

Scientists and Engineers for America

Secrecy News

Welcome to the OTA Archive

This website is a public archive of The Office of Technology Assessment. It includes information about the history of the office and features over 720 reports and documents that were produced by OTA during its 23 year history. In the video section there is a new interview with Congressman Rush Holt, who explains why he has been leading the effort to revive OTA.

OTA served as an independent branch of the U.S. Congress that provided nonpartisan science and technology advice from 1972 until it was defunded and forced to close in 1995. The Archive will track efforts to bring back OTA, and individuals can subscribe to receive RSS feeds or email updates as new material is posted. The Federation of American Scientists recently received hundreds of historical documents about OTA that have not been available to the public previously, and plan to highlight them in a regular “Document of the Day” feature. The OTA Archive links to current news articles that mention OTA reports or former OTA staff members. The site also includes a  search engine (on the right) that allows users to quickly and easily find specific content in OTA reports.

FAS will be happy to host or link to any additional documents or commentary related to the OTA. Use the contact tab at the top of this page to send us your comments.

Watch Rush Holt talk about OTA

FAS recently sat down with Congressman Rush Holt, a former physicist representing the 12th district of New Jersey, to get his perspective on what OTA meant to Congress and the Nation.

Congressman Rush Holt discusses the Office of Technology Assessment
Interview with the Federation of American Scientists, June 2008

A Call for a Citizen Scientist Role in Federal Government

By Terrie Miller | Citizen Science Projects Blog | July 15, 2008

Here’s a blog post that mentions Darlene Cavalier’s recent Science Progress editorial on creating a very public Office of Technology Assessment. Ms. Miller says,

“I’m a firm believer in citizen science as one path to increasing science literacy. Cavalier takes the next step and insists that we begin to take a more prominent role in policy making ourselves. After all, isn’t that what citizens of a democracy are supposed to do?”